Forgotten Truths
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The Fear of Hell Saves Souls

Today little is being said about Hell, which is even denied by post-conciliar Popes as not being a real place (here and here). Nonetheless, the English Ultramontane Catholic champion Fr. Frederick William Faber makes it clear that the existence of Hell is a “dreadfully real truth.”

How long would we persevere in serving God if we not believed there is Hell? Why should we leave our sins if there were no Hell? Fr. Faber counsels that no one should ever turn away from the sight of Hell so that we do not little by little begin to slide away from the good path and end in that place of banishment.

Fr. Frederick Faber

When Our Lord showed Mother Francisca of the Blessed Sacrament, a Spanish Carmelite, the loss of a soul, and several times in a vision compelled her positively to study the separate tortures of that place, He upbraided her for weeping.

“Why weepest thou?” She fell prostrate at His sacred feet and said: “Lord! For the damnation of that soul and the manner in which it has been damned.”

He vouchsafed to reply: “Daughter! It hath chosen to damn itself. I have given it many helps of grace that it might be saved, but it would not profit by them. I am pleased with your compassion, but I would have you rather love My justice.”

And another time, when she was compelled to fix her gaze upon those pains, the Angels said to her: "O Francisca! Strive hard after the holy fear of God!”

Who can doubt that here are, at this hour, thousands and tens of thousands in the blessed of Heaven who would never have been there if there had been no Hell! Alas for the reproach it is to the unloving hearts of men, but, after all, the Cross of Christ has had no better help on earth than the unbearable fire of Hell!

Verily it is well for our own sakes to think sometimes of that horrid place! As truly as fair France lies across the Channel, as truly as the sun is shining on the white wall and gay bridges and bright gardens and many-storied palaces of its beautiful capital, as truly as that thousands of men and women there are living real lives and fulfilling various destinies, so truly is there such a place as Hell, all alive this hour with the multitudinous life of countless agonies and innumerable gradations of despair.

Save the Blessed in Heaven, none live so keen or conscious a life as those millions of ruined souls. It is not impossible that we may go there too. It is not impossible that we may have sent some there already.

When we pass along the streets, we must often see those who will inhabit there forever. There are some there now who were not there an hour ago. There are some now in the green fields, or in the busy lawns, on comfortable beds, or on the sunshiny seas, who in another hour perhaps will have gone there. This is a dreadfully real truth.

Excerpt from Purgatory by Fr. Frederick William Faber,
Charlotte, NC: TAN Books, 2002, pp-2-3

Posted December 31, 2019


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